• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Deforestation and its effects

Extracts from this document...


Summer 2002 Helen Douglas 12.4 Deforestation and its effects Deforestation is a huge issue and it is said to cause world wide problems, from global warming to the extinction of rare species that live in the forests. In this essay, I will be outlining the advantages and disadvantages of deforestation and its effects on the environment. There are many pros and cons concerning deforestation and usually the reasons against deforestation are the most clearly outlined in the public eye. There is a very good reason for continuing with deforestation. Some plant species contain chemicals that are unique and can only be found in the rainforests. Such substances can be used for medicines from reproductive hormones to life saving anti-leukaemia drugs. The issue of using plant species for medicinal purposes is a controversial one. One day the plant species will become extinct if they aren't replaced and due to their rarity, the likelihood of them being replaced is low. However, should we prioritise human survival over plant survival? ...read more.


As the trees are removed, some dead matter is left, which naturally decomposes through nitrification. This results in the production of ammonia. The process continues through decay and fixation. However, rainfall will wash the soil into the rivers and streams and the bacteria needed for the cycle is lost. This means that nitrogen levels in the atmosphere could decrease. The loss of carbon in the carbon cycle is much simpler. Less trees means that less carbon dioxide is taken in and less oxygen given off. This raises CO2 levels in the atmosphere and decreases O2, which in turn contributes to global warming. This process is said to cause the ice caps to melt, resulting in extra moisture in the air, leading to frequent floods that cover large areas, such as the flood that struck Europe in the summer of this year. As far as the diversity of certain species is concerned, the amount is slowly decreasing. This is due to their habitats slowly being destroyed. If just one creature becomes extinct, it can cause problems on a large scale due to food chains being affected. ...read more.


Forest fires also cause a loss of species. Those that escape the fires have no habitats to return to. In order to decrease, and hopefully prevent deforestation, many measures can be taken. (However not all of them would be successful!!) Attempting to keep some areas of rainforests and deciduous forests as conservation areas would mean that areas were protected. There have been a few rules in the past so that when trees are removed they are replaced and it has worked in some places but the rate of deforestation in some areas is so rapid that there will be no fully grown trees around until the ones planted have had time to grow, which could take years. Stronger enforcement on licensing laws could work but as I mentioned earlier, the governments must stick to their policies and not take on a selfish attitude in order to raise their country's economy. If something isn't done soon, the diversity of species, both animal and plant species will be dramatically reduced, global warming will continue and the world will be a much grimmer place. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Living Things in their Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A good summary of some of the major issues associated with deforestation. Some specific examples would have been useful.

Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 16/07/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Living Things in their Environment essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    A2 Biology Coursework -Investigation into the effect of different concentrations of antibiotics on the ...

    4 star(s)

    and recorded the values in a table. 16. I carried out this experiment 2 more times and then used the results to obtain an average set of results. Safety and Precautions The safety and precautions I took while I carried out this experiment were that: * I washed my hands

  2. Marked by a teacher

    In this experiment, mung bean seedlings and Brine shrimp eggs were used to study ...

    4 star(s)

    After every 24 hours for three consecutive days, the shrimps are observed under the compound microscope to see the development. 10. Five samples of the Brine shrimps from each beaker are taken and observed. After observation, they are placed back into the respective beakers to allow them to develop fully.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    An Investigation into a Woodlice's Preferred Choice of Environment.

    3 star(s)

    > Cotton Wool - to be dampened with a little water for the damp section of the choice chamber.

  2. Explain the factors that affect the distribution of plant and animal species

    Light also triggers flowering and seed germination. Shrubs inside Sunset Crater, AZ2 have whitish leaves that help maintain energy balance in a hot, sunny environment. Soil pH is an important chemical property because it affects the availability of nutrients to plants.

  1. What Factors are responsible for the success of Insects?

    However, the truth is that if a grasshopper were the size of a man, it could probably jump no further than a man because its muscles would have to move a much greater bulk relative to their own area (Berenbaum, 1995).

  2. 'Bacteria. Friend or Foe?' Bacteria is something we are all reminded of ...

    Are we doing ourselves more harm than good? Since the introduction of better standards of hygiene in the home, particularly after the war, many childhood infections have all but disappeared but has a rise in allergies, especially amongst children taken their place?

  1. "What is the significance of the nitrogen cycle in ecosystems? Using suitable examples, discuss ...

    An example is the bacteria Pseudomonas who use nitrites or nitrates as an alternative to oxygen for the final acceptor in their respiration. Leaching Another loss of nitrogen form the ecosystem is through leaching. This is when some of the highly soluble nitrate is taken from the soil by percolating

  2. Investigating Seed Germination. Hypothesis If there is water, oxygen and a suitable ...

    The length of each seedling will be measured using a vernier caliper, with units in cm. Controlled Variables: --> Volume of Water - The volume of water poured per day onto the seeds each day should remain the same, as if the volume changes, the volume of water imbibed by

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work